Try the east for a change? One area well known to British wine drinkers but less well known to Britons is Burgundy. Only 5 – 6 hours from the Channel Ports or 90 minutes from Geneva or Lyon airports this area abounds with small villages, individual cuisine and lots and lots of really fine wines.
“We’re biased. We live in a small village in the extreme east of Burgundy, right on the border with the Jura Department and we love it here” say John & Carolyn Scallon at www.bandb-burgundy.com who offer excellent accommodation (4 individually decorated bedrooms with en-suite facilities) in the heart of south Burgundy at Sens-sur-Seille (71 Saone-et-Loire, Burgundy) east of Chalon-sur-Saone.
They have provided a personalised guide to visiting the vineyards of Burgundy – see http://www.frenchduck.co.uk/B&BBurgundy.html , This is great as Burgundy is one of the wine regions which I know least well, as it did not really fit my focus on “lesser known French wines” in my wine merchant days. So it is good to get advice from someone who knows the region well.
My most memorable Burgundy was imbibed at Nuits-Saint-Georges, where we stayed for a night about 20 years ago. As is usual, we opt for the local wine in the restaurant – a Clos la Marechal from Faiveley, which was smooth and creamy with oaky lush cherry fruit. Sadly every red burgundy since has been a bit of a disappointment, in part because Pinot Noir tends to be a bit temperamental, and Burgundy’s weather can be quite variable. Last time I looked it was about £25.00+ a bottle, which is the other problem with Burgundy – it tends to be pricey! However find the right one and you could be in heaven. See Faiveley’s website